Printed letters April 1, 2011

We must learn to live within energy means

I’ve reluctantly withheld my sentiments on nuclear energy and our high-risk, high-cost behaviors during this sensitive period of the Japanese catastrophe. I can’t help responding to letter writer Hugo Ernst’s nuclear energy perspective.

Apparently, he has completed his calculation of death and morbidity that will ensue from this unfolding nuclear disaster — those consequences that are impossible to calculate beyond the immediate and obvious, except for epidemiological study and the known effects of radiation.

Does “once-in-a-lifetime disaster” mean we are now safe from anything comparable (or worse)?

Maybe Ernst would change his mind if he were one of those living nearby. Maybe he would choose that risk. Most of us would not, were we allowed the opportunity to choose, which, for the most part, we are not.

Why have energy conversations following recent ecological and humanitarian, man-made disasters omitted the powerful words “energy conservation and efficiency”? As though we must support some insatiable uncontrollable need for energy? Are we subservient to a monster that forces us to risk our children, our homes and our land beyond reason and sensibility?

How about finding a way to live responsibly and safely within our own means? If an environmental conscience is self-serving, then it is so only in the sense of self-preservation of ecosystems that sustain all living things.

As to the issue of development, whether coastal, earthquake-zone, or desert, there are certainly assumed risks. Governments would be wise to discourage those risky behaviors, which end up costing all of us. But, nevertheless, the risk of this practice is confined mostly to the unwise or unwary participants.

Never confuse this with the risk imposed undeservedly on the air, water and land, and the well-being of present and future generations, by corporations and governments that promise safety and deliver less.


Grand Junction

‘Radical’ and ‘reasonable’ roles are reversed

In Lois Dunn’s letter to the editor March 29, the argument is made that “reasonable” people need to work together to “defeat the radicals.” And what radicals would that be?

Well, that would apparently be radicals such as the mayors of some of the towns that surround the area where a uranium mine is to be constructed. They would also be groups interested in leaving our planet in some sort of a livable condition for future generations. One could very easily accept that they have every right to voice concerns regarding such a project.

And, in light of recent events on our planet, I’m not so sure that the roles of “radical” and “reasonable” haven’t been reversed. I mean really, what is the motivation for taking such risky chances with our lovely area.

Is it money? Is it more jobs?  I’m sorry, but that’s not nearly a good enough reason to take this potential risk.

And where is this material going to be used? There are no plans in the near future for more nuclear plants. Do we need more A-bombs? So what is the big need?

The fact is that these materials must be transported, so many people should be concerned with this issue because it’s their town that may see it moved through. If that makes them radicals, then count me among them.

Grand Junction was the very first superfund site for the clean up of uranium contamination. The cancer center at St. Mary’s hospital was, in large part, established to deal with the cancers related to uranium mining. All citizens have a right to their opinion on this matter.

In the letter, the term “radical” is used four times when referring to others who are against this planned mill. Could it be the writer does believe that, indeed, “if you repeat the same lie enough times, people will believe it”?


Grand Junction

Herzog contributes little ‘wisdom’ to the readers

The snarky Denny Herzog demonstrates regrettably poor journalistic taste. And on The Daily Sentinel’s dime, no less.

In his attempt to be Charles Krauthammer, Denny goes too far with remarks such as Sarah Palin “wasn’t bright enough to spell cat, even if spotted the c and the a.” I guess this is his — and The Daily Sentinel’s — contribution to the new civility.

Why does the Sentinel feel obliged to publish this guy? What “wisdom” has retirement suddenly brought him that employment did not?

Unfortunately, we subscribers are paying to provide Denny’s 15 minutes of fame. If you intend to continue underwriting his remarks, would you at least consider giving us subscribers a discount for the duration?


Grand Junction


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